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Your Flying World Photo Contest Winners!

This year’s Your Flying World Photo Contest wowed us with images spanning the range of aviation from down and dirty to downright heavenly. Here are the finalists’ images, including the top three.

As was the case with our inaugural photo contest, this past year’s Your Flying World Photo Contest wowed the judges with images that, once again, came to us from just about every imaginable segment of aviation. And our Grand Prize-winning photo, by Michael Morse, showed an Air Tractor Fire Boss firefighting modified ag plane dumping its load of fire retardant at a Southern California wildfire.  

Enter our 2021 Your Flying World Photo Contest here!

Without further ado, the winners of our 2020 Your Flying World Photo Contest and the 18 other finalists!

Containing the Flames by Michael Morse
First Place Winner – “Containing the Flames” by Michael Morse.

First-Place, Grand-Prize Winner: Containing The Flames, by Michael Morse. In a year in which record amounts of wilderness went up in flames around the American West, it’s only fitting that our top prize goes to a dramatic shot of a firefighting plane in action, piloted by an unknown hero, someone risking their life to save others’ lives. The plane here is an Air Tractor 802 Fire Boss, shown in action dropping its load of fire retardant on a hot spot right up against the hillside. Congratulations, Michael!

"Early Bird Gets the Best Parking" by Brent Clark
Second Place Winner – “Early Bird Gets the Best Parking” by Brent Clark.

Second-Place Winner: Early Bird Gets The Best Parking, by Brent Clark. Our second-place winner by a hair is Brent Clark’s amazing shot of airplane’s early-morning arrival at Sun ‘n Fun a couple of years ago. In it, Clark captures a strongly backlit scene perfectly, using the ground fog as an additional element to render a mood that is just perfect.

"Proof of God" by William Todd Self.
Third Place Winner – “Proof of God” by William Todd Self.

Third-Place Winner: Proof of God, by William Todd. Our third-place prize goes to another remarkable shot, one that captures the compelling scene of a pilot alone among the building cumulus clouds with a blast of radiant energy shining through. We were captivated by the motion in this photograph, too, the focal point being the supernatural glow emanating from the core of the clouds while the plane, with its whisky compass providing a directional touchstone, veers away.

Congratulations to our winners and to all the finalists.

And a special thank you to our judges, two gifted photographers, Jim Koepnick and Steve Zimmermann, who, along with our editor in chief, Isabel Goyer, worked through a lot of great shots to get to the finalists, and then worked together to pick our winners. Again, many thanks.




An image of a Gnome et Rhone engine taken during restoration.


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